General Articles

Personal Injury in Washington: A Primer

When you suffer a personal injury in Washington, the term not only refers to your injury itself but also to the type of civil lawsuit you can bring against the person or entity whose negligence or wrongdoing caused your injury. If you win your lawsuit, the defendant(s) will have to pay you money, called damages, to compensate you for the losses your injury caused you.

Personal Injury Causes

A personal injury can be caused by any number of events, including the following:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: cars, trucks, buses, taxicabs, ride-hailing vehicles, etc.
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Premises liability accidents: slips and falls, dog bites, etc.
  • Medical malpractice: surgical errors, medication errors, birth injuries, etc.
  • Product liability: exploding tires or airbags, malfunctioning appliances, etc.
  • Intentional torts: Deliberate acts of wrongdoing that cause someone else harm

Need for an Attorney

Personal injury attorneys are those lawyers who practice personal injury law and therefore have the knowledge, experience and ability to not only determine what kind of lawsuit you should file, but then file it on your behalf and aggressively fight for your right to receive the maximum compensation possible. For instance, if you live in the Auburn area of Washington, you will want to find an experienced Auburn personal injury attorney to represent you.

Types of Damages

You seek two types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit: economic and noneconomic. Your economic damages include such things as the following that result from your injury:

  • Medical expenses, past and future
  • Rehabilitation expenses, past and future
  • Lost wages, past and future
  • Lost earning capacity

Your noneconomic damages are more intangible and include such things as the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of your enjoyment of life

Keep in mind that Washington limits the amount of pain and suffering damages you can collect. The “cap” represents your life expectancy multiplied by your average annual wage multiplied by 0.43.